The surviving sister of Dave Patrick Underwood, a federal security guard who was killed in a shooting in 2020, has filed a lawsuit against Meta, the parent organization of Facebook. The lawsuit seeks to hold the company accountable for connecting two men accused of the murder plot and giving them an online space to plan attacks.
Underwood was shot outside a federal building in Oakland, California in May 2020. Two men charged with motel in this case were later linked to the so-called “boogaloo” anti-government movement. that Facebook has banned on its platform. June 2020 group quote History about “actively promoting violence against civilians, law enforcement and government officials and institutions.”
“The shooting was not an accidental act of violence,” the lawsuit states Statuses. “It was the culmination of an extremist conspiracy hatched and planned on Facebook by two men to whom Meta connected through Facebook’s group infrastructure and the use of algorithms designed to target aim to increase user engagement and, accordingly, Meta’s profits.” The lawsuit alleges that the two men would never have met without Facebook’s recommendations, which prompted the two to join groups that “publicly advocate violence.”
A spokesperson for Meta said in a statement New York Times that “the claims have no legal basis” and indicate the work of the company “Militarized social movements.”
The lawsuit is hardly the first time Meta has been implicated in a role in promoting extremism and violence. Facebook researchers warn that the group’s recommendations are motivating users in 2016, according to internal company documents first reported by The Wall Street Journal. And documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen have about Facebook’s role in inciting violence around the world. Meta also by a group of Rohingya refugees over The role of Facebook amplifying hate speech inciting a genocide in the country.
In a statement to ABC, Ted Leopold, who represents Underwood’s sister, referenced Haugen’s revelations about Facebook. “We believe and intend to demonstrate that Facebook’s conduct has led to an increase in worldwide extremism and acts of real-world violence, including the murder of Officer Underwood. ,” said Leopold.
All products recommended by Engadget are handpicked by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.